Law Enforcement Sides with Chris Crane After Rubio’s Anti-ICE Tirade

CLEMSON, SC - FEBRUARY 19: Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio addresses the crowd during a campaign rally at Clemson University Friday, February 19, 2016 in Clemson, South Carolina. The South Carolina Republican primary will be held Saturday, February 20. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Law enforcement are vocally backing Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council President Chris Crane following Sen. Marco Rubio’s apparent attempt to discredit Crane, an ICE officer of 13 years and U.S. veteran.

Crane has been described by Senator Jeff Sessions, a renowned leader in the conservative nation-state movement, as “an American hero” for blowing the whistle on immigration corruption.

Following an exclusive interview with Breitbart News in which Crane detailed how law enforcement was treated “like absolute trash” by Sen. Rubio during his effort to ram the Gang of Eight amnesty bill through the Senate, Rubio took to national television to denounce Crane and his service to his country.

“He’s not an ICE official. He’s the head of a union,” Rubio declared on Fox News when asked about the criticism leveled by Crane. “That individual is not an ICE official; he’s the head of a union,” Rubio responded.

Prominent sheriffs throughout the country, however, have rushed to Crane’s aide–praising him for his “courage to tell the truth amidst attacks.”

“ICE Officer Chris Crane is as much a real federal law enforcement officer as Marco Rubio is a real U.S. Senator,” said conservative Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Arizona.

Sheriff Babeu was recognized by the National Sheriff’s Associate as “Sheriff of the Year” in 2011, and he has been described as one of nation’s “toughest immigration sheriffs.”

“Officer Crane has helped expose the failures of ICE and President Obama to enforce immigration laws that have compromised the safety of our nation,” Sheriff Babeu continued. “I’m proud of his service to our nation and courage to tell the truth amidst attacks.”

Sheriff Tom Hodgson of Bristol County, Massachusetts similarly defended Crane against Rubio’s attacks.

“I’m not sure what Sen. Rubio is talking about,” the Massachusetts Sheriff said. “I don’t understand why Sen. Rubio would say that about Chris Crane. Anyone who has worked on the immigration issue knows that Crane is a federal ICE agent who is fighting for law enforcement to be able to do its job and protect our borders, so that the people we’re sworn to protect are not victimized financially or criminally.

“I’m really surprised by Rubio’s comment,” Sheriff Hodgson continued. “He knows very well who Chris Crane is. He met with law enforcement at some point [during the Gang of Eight push] when we were telling him that he had the wrong position on this issue.”

“Not only is Chris Crane a dedicated ICE agent, but he has been fighting for all of law enforcement and border patrol for years,” Sheriff Hodgson explained. “He’s fighting to make the people of this country safer… He’s been fighting to allow these immigration officers to do their jobs because the Obama administration has tied their hands. Crane is someone who not only understands law enforcement, he’s someone who has lived it–he knows the job. He knows the difference between doing the job and having your hands tied by people who are more interested in politics than public safety.”

Hogdson also confirmed Crane’s account of his interaction with Sen. Rubio during the Gang of Eight fight. In his interview with Breitbart, Crane explained that after Sen. Rubio introduced his amnesty bill, Rubio oversaw as Crane–an ICE officer and U.S. Marine–was ejected from the Gang of Eight press conference for trying to ask a question on behalf of the nation’s law enforcement. Crane explained:

When the floor was opened to reporters to ask questions, I too politely raised my hand and asked, “Will you take a question from law enforcement?” The amnesty folks immediately started making hateful comments like: you’re not welcome here, you need to leave, you have no right to speak here. A commotion took place on the stage with the Gang of Eight Senators. Sen. Rubio did look directly at me, and it appeared that he told Sen. Flake who I was. Yet, despite having looked directly at me, Sen. Rubio did absolutely nothing to allow me to ask a question on behalf of the nation’s ICE officers, sheriffs and front line law enforcement. I was able to ask the same question approximately two more times, before a Senate staffer accompanied by Capitol Hill police approached— demanding that they escort me out.

Hodgson confirmed Crane’s account: “I was down there when the Gang of Eight did their press conference. I was standing right next to him,” Hodgson said. “He was definitely removed from the event. He wasn’t doing anything inappropriate or anything—he was just trying to ask a question, but they asked him to leave.”

Sheriff Hodgson similarly echoed Crane’s characterization of Rubio’s amnesty bill as “irresponsible and misleading for the American people.”

The bill, Sheriff Hodgson explained, “was revealing. It really showed just how out of touch those who were involved in it really are. Those involved in the bill did not understand the immigration problem.”

Sheriff Sam Page of Rockingham County, North Carolina–who has served as a member of law enforcement for more than 30 years and is himself a military veteran–similarly came to Crane’s defense against the attacks of the Republican presidential hopeful, who is backed by some of the Party’s most powerful and wealthy donors.

“I met Chris Crane in early 2013 when I was working with sheriffs across the country on border security and immigration issues,” Sheriff Page said. “Crane immediately struck me as someone who wanted to do good things to better protect our citizens. As I’ve always said, if we fail to secure our borders, every sheriff in the country is going to become a border sheriff. I think because of Crane’s efforts to do good things, he’s had a rough time of it.”

Sheriff Page similarly confirmed Crane’s account of how law enforcement was treated by Sen. Rubio and the Gang of Eight.

“I actually drove to Washington to meet with Chris [Crane] and Sen. Rubio [after the bill was introduced],” Page said. “I drove 500 miles in one day because I thought it was important for our national security and for our interior enforcement. We met with Sen. Rubio and he had some of his staffers there. I brought one of my deputies with me. Chris was there along with two presidents of the border patrol…

“My interpretation was that we were there to help improve the bill, but we never heard anything back from Sen. Rubio after that meeting. A lot of your local law enforcement was excluded from the process. We thought there would have been some follow up and efforts to communicate with us and an opportunity for us to work on the bill, but nothing ever developed out of it. I thought he was going to give border patrol and ICE an opportunity to have some impact, I later found out that wasn’t so.”

“My concerns with how the Gang of Eight was rolled out,” Page explained, “is that if border patrol has restrictions placed on them, and interior enforcement has restrictions placed on them, and local county officials, who have no authority on immigration enforcement, can’t do their job, then who is protecting Americans? That was Chris’ concern. I love my country, I serve my community, and I’m doing my best to protect my citizens–just like Chris. I would have hoped and would have appreciated if our leadership in Washington would have supported our interior enforcement officers.”

This is not the first time Rubio has found himself on the opposite side of law enforcement. Earlier this week, Sen. Rubio–unprompted–claimed that there is systemic racism amongst America’s law enforcement that is victimizing minorities–insisting, “I happen to have seen this happen.” Rubio’s assertion prompted prominent Sheriff David Clarke to take to Twitter and state, “I must say that Rubio’s anecdotal claims of police racism sound more like something Democrats are falsely claiming.”

Rubio’s apparent tendency to cast himself opposite the nation’s law enforcement may prove problematic as the race continues onward, as it poses a stark contrast from GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. Last night in Trump’s victory speech in South Carolina, Trump made a point to emphasize how mistreated our nation’s law enforcement is. “We love our police. Our police are terrific. We love our police. They are not being treated properly,” Trump said to loud applause.

Despite Rubio’s incredible financial, media, and party support–Rubio had the endorsement of the South Carolina’s Governor, its sitting Senator, and one of its high-profile Congressmen–Donald Trump beat Sen. Rubio in the Palmetto state by ten points.

Conservative columnist and best-selling author Ann Coulter wrote on Twitter: “Has anyone in U.S. history ever had the financial support, party support, & media support — & lost 1st three states as Marco Rubio has?”



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